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Cohabitation Agreements: Unromantic but Useful

Rayhana Kausar, Graduate Chartered Legal Executive in Astle Paterson’s Family Department, discusses the need to consider entering into a Cohabitation Agreement when you are talking about moving in with your partner.

Rayhana said “Living with someone doesn’t mean you are automatically entitled to some financial support or to a share of their property if you split up.

Sorting out disputes about property and other matters without there being a prior written agreement can be expensive and take a long time.

A good Cohabitation Agreement can mean that areas of potential dispute on separation are reduced or eliminated.  Such an agreement can deal with first, who owns what at the time of the agreement and in what proportions, secondly, what financial arrangements you have decided to make while you are living together and thirdly, how property, assets, income and debts should be divided if you should split up.

Whilst, at first glance, a Cohabitation Agreement can appear unromantic in our experience we find that many couples find the process of making a Cohabitation Agreement gives them a chance to think and talk about how living together is going to work financially and therefore arguments about money are less likely.

Where the terms of the Cohabitation Agreement are reasonable, and each party has had separate independent legal advice on its effects, a Court is likely to uphold the agreement in the event of a dispute.

It is important to note, that much like a Will, you will need to review the Cohabitation Agreement if you move house, have children or your circumstances change dramatically and it’s important to ensure the agreement is kept up to date.”

Please contact either our Family Department on 01283 531366 or by way of email to rkausar@astlepaterson.co.uk to discuss matters further.  

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